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The Pilates Allegro® is a type of Pilates Reformer machine designed to be used in commercial gyms, Pilates studios, or in the home. Compared to other Reformer machines, the Pilates Allegro® is lower to the ground. It folds for storage and is on wheels so that it can be moved easily by most people.
Joseph Pilates developed the Pilates exercise system while in an internment camp in England during World War I. Pilates was designed to help those who were ill and could not get out of bed to exercise and gain strength. Resistance training is the basis of the workout. Joseph Pilates built the first Pilates machines by attaching springs to people's beds so that they could pull themselves up. Other types of Pilates take place on a mat and use a person's strength as the resistance.
The Pilates Allegro® is viewed by many as an improvement over the original Reformer design. It is built by Balanced Body, and is a more compact version of the Reformer machines first designed by Ken Endelman in the 1970s. Pilates Allegro® machines measure 6.75 inches (17 cm) high and 93 inches (236 cm) long. An optional set of legs can lift the machine 14 inches (35 cm) off the ground, which is the standard height of other Reformer machines.
The 36 inch (91 cm) foot bar on the Pilates Allegro® machine adjusts both vertically and horizontally. Vertical adjustments of the foot bar increase or reduce the resistance on the machine, making the exercises more difficult or easier, depending on a person's strength. Horizontal adjustments change the length of the machine, so that both very tall and very short people will fit on the Allegro.
The five springs used on the Pilates Allegro® mean that the machine can provide a user with up to 46 different levels of resistance. The springs are color coded based on the amount of resistance they offer. A blue spring offers a light resistance while three red ones offer medium resistance. The machine also comes with a yellow spring which provides the least amount of resistance to a person exercising. A person can also vary the resistance the Allegro provides by adjusting the angle of the machine's pulleys.
Pilates Allegro® machines can also be outfitted with optional Towers and mat conversions. The Tower of Power turns the Allegro reformer into a trapeze table. The mat conversion simply covers the top of the Allegro with a cushioned mat so that a person can use the Allegro for Pilates mat exercises as well.